The time is running out on the Keating 5's biggest mysteries yet!
How to Get Away With Murderreturns for the last episodes of its sixth and final season on Thursday, and while there's plenty of drama to come, series star Viola Davis said she couldn't be more pleased with how the show wraps up.
"It is everything that you need to sew it up in your heart, in your mind," Davis said of the show's swan song. "It's almost a love song that [creator and executive producer Peter Nowalk] wrote. It's a great aria. That's how I see it, it's operatic in nature."
Her co-stars seem to agree, with Liza Weil, who plays Bonnie, teasing that the final season doesn't end the way she expected, "because I think the show always exceeds our expectations -- it's way better, and very satisfying," while Charlie Weber, who plays Frank, ominously warned that, "I think all the characters find the right pay-off for their particular story."
While Davis couldn't say much about her own fate -- Annalise's funeral has been teased in season 6 flash-fowards -- she did hint at the drama to come when the season picks back up. November's midseason finale dealt fans two major surprises with the still-mysterious death of Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry) and the shocking return of Wes (Alfred Enoch), who supposedly died back in season 3.
"There's everything in [these final episodes]," she noted. "Pete -- it's like he took every explosive you could possibly imagine, put it in a box and just put a lot of fire underneath and blew the whole thing up."
On a series that deals heavily in flashbacks and flash-forwards, McGorry assured fans that, while his character is fully dead, there will be some "beautiful closure" for Asher in the final episodes.
"The character's been on such a journey and experienced so much personal growth, you know, from being someone who had a very myopic viewpoint on life and his own sort of white, wealthy male privilege to expanding those horizons -- becoming passionate about what is right and just and fair... It's been beautiful to see that journey happen."
However, Asher's death will direct affect not just the entire group, but Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) and Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), specifically, as the pair were arrested -- in their graduation gowns, no less -- for the murder of their former classmate, who was also revealed as the FBI's informant among the group in the midseason finale.
"Asher’s death, that was really hard, and that was hard to shoot, 'cause it was like, this is supposed to be Michaela’s person, and then now he's gone," King recalled. "But you know what? It only fortifies Michaela into being stronger with herself and understanding the fact that, at the end of the day, all you really need is you to get through."
"I am really happy with where Michaela ends up, 'cause she's a survivor," the actress added of her character's final episodes. "She's a survivor and a fighter. It doesn't matter what you throw at her, she is going to will good things into her existence, so I love her ending."
As for Connor, Falahee said there's an "incredible ending" coming for the show, but not before some major trauma for his character.
"I mean, Conner gets arrested for Asher’s murder and things start to unravel for him," he previewed. "He starts to panic. His parents come back, they're obviously not thrilled that I’m getting charged with first-degree murder. It's pretty chaotic."
When it comes to the other jaw-dropping midseason reveal, the appearance of Wes at Annalise's flash-forward funeral, Enoch couldn't spoil too much, but said it was a "gift" to get to come back again and say a final farewell to the series.
"It's about the dynamic within the show, and [the way] people have invested," he said, noting that the series' final dramatic arcs are about more than just his character. "Obviously that's the nature of the show -- it brings changes and it mixes things up -- but hopefully [Wes' return] will be a big part in the sense that it will be satisfying for people, you know? I'm gonna not say too much more than that."
"All the ways this job has changed me and changed my life and changed my career, it's a real gift to get to say goodbye three times," he added. "Every time, it doesn't feel painful -- there's pain in it, but there's also a lot of, I feel my good fortune in it. So, yeah, it's been a gift."
The rest of the cast were similarly coy -- Conrad Ricamora, who plays Connor's husband, Oliver Hampton, joked that "Shonda's got mics everywhere" -- but effusive about their characters' final journeys.
"I think Oliver's had such a huge arc, from someone who's even scared to talk to another potential love interest at a bar to the point where he's now like, instigating ways to get around the FBI," Ricamora explained. "From the pilot episode to now, like, it's such a big change in him and his confidence level and his dark side coming out. I'm so happy that I've been able to show that journey and that arc."
Weil also said she was "really happy with the way Bonnie's story wrapped up," but is curious to see the fan reaction.
"I'm very satisfied with it," she noted. "It will be interesting to see how viewers feel about it, but you know, I think it's a funny thing -- all of us were so moved by seeing how everybody else's character wrapped up even more so than our own."
That group dynamic, McGorry said, lends itself to the fan experience as well. Like Enoch, he noted that the final episodes offer a sense of finality for Annalise and her former students that How to Get Away With Murder has understandably avoided in the past.
"There's so many shocking surprises but also, like, really deep closure that I think as an audience member people have probably been really wanting and craving," the actor explained. "There's some serious tragedy and there's also some really beautiful moments, where I think we get to be happy for our characters and the journey that they've been on. Either way, it's a beautiful way for it to be wrapped up."
For his part, Nowalk said crafting the final six episodes and writing toward a planned series finale was a "gift," creatively.
"I love the final six episodes," he previewed. "I find them super satisfying and shocking and it's all my favorite things. I can't wait for everyone to see it... I think all of the characters and the actors are little pieces of my intellectual side, my emotional side, so it's really a dream to write for them."
And as the cast walks away with memories of their six seasons on the show, some of them are also taking physical reminders. Weber told ET that he's got "Frank's murder gloves," while Weil received a recreation of a painting that hung in Bonnie's house "that I felt like sort of represented the whole show to me."
Enoch admitted to swiping several things over the years, but as for Davis, she's taking everything that's not nailed down!
"I'm taking everything they can give me," the Emmy winner joked. "Listen, I even put my Lexus and the Maybach that Michael's father drives, I put everything on the list... clothes, even the stove in Annalise’s house, I put that on the list too."